Today’s stage at the Tour of Rhodes was the one set to decide the final outcome of the overall classification. The race was down to a matter of seconds, as the Top 5 in the general classification were distanced by just a mare 10 seconds, with Daan Hoole sitting in fifth and Stan van Tricht in third 8 seconds down the leader.
It was a fast start as always, with several riders trying to break clear from the peloton without success. Sadly, bad luck was on our side again as Tom Day was involved in a crash, but the British rider could work his way to the main group just before the crucial part of the day. The climbing section of the stage broke the peloton into several groups, with all Academy riders making it to the front one. Daan Hoole went away in the last climb of the day, quickly gaining a gap of around 15″. However, the lack of cooperation of his two companions allowed a large group to join with 30 km to go and the race was set to be decided in a bunch sprint. In the final rush to the line, the teamwork of our riders was on point and they could deliver Stan van Tricht to prime position coming into the final meters. The 21-year old Belgian took a hard-fought third place, which helped him to clinch third overall in the overall standing. Also, he secured the Best Young Rider jersey. Daan Hoole wrapped up a very strong performance as well with a fifth-place on GC as both riders highlighted a really strong team performance throughout the four days.
Ioannis Tamouridis, Academy Performance Manager and DS for the race, looks back to the race as a whole:
“It was a good day for us, personally I’m very happy with the job of the guys. They did a really good job all race long, and today we tried to surprise the group with a late attack from Daan (Hoole). After that, we organized a really good lead-out for Stan (van Tricht) and he could take third. We have to be really happy with this result considering the circumstances, of course, we wanted to a win a stage but looking back we could say that we did a good job. We always raced for the win and with an offensive mindset, so we have to be proud of having two riders in the Top 5 and win the Best Young Rider classification. Even though that some of them got some racing in the legs last month, it was a good way to keep building on for upcoming goals and get the legs ready”.